Statkraft announces purchase of Solarcentury for $152m

Matthew Farmer 2 November 2020 (Last Updated November 2nd, 2020 14:46)

Norwegian state-owned renewable energy company Statkraft has announced its acquisition of UK solar panel manufacturer Solarcentury.

Statkraft announces purchase of Solarcentury for $152m
Statkraft has several solar projects, though focuses on hydropower. Credit: Statkraft.

Norwegian state-owned renewable energy company Statkraft has announced its acquisition of UK solar panel manufacturer Solarcentury.

Statkraft has purchased all the shares of Solarcentury’s holding company and its subsidiaries for a total of $152m (£118m). The shares were previously held by four different investment groups.

In the 2019 to 2020 financial year, Solarcentury reported raw earnings (EBITDA) of more than $26m, its highest on record. At the end of March, the privately-held company had 610MW of projects under construction, with a reserve of more than $52m in cash.

Solarcentury said it has a 6GW project pipeline in countries including France, Greece, Italy, and Chile. Recent developments centred around Spain and the Netherlands, but the company returned to the UK market in February of this year. This project spread and pipeline capacity appealed to Statkraft, a spokesperson said.

In the same period, Statkraft reported an installed capacity of 1.9 GW, aiming to grow by 9 GW before 2025. The company reported gross operating revenue of $5.1bn (NOK48.7m), slightly down on the previous year, but profits continued to rise. In its most recent report, the company said performance remained “satisfactory” throughout the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.

In June, Statkraft began development of its first UK-based solar project as part of a joint development agreement.

What Statkraft and Solarcentury executives said about the deal

Solarcentury employs 180 people in 12 countries and has assets with a 1.2GW generation capacity across 7 countries. CEO Frans van den Heuvel said: “Solarcentury has grown entirely organically since 2007 into a highly profitable business.

“To continue to grow at the pace that is possible given the market we’re operating in, we will benefit from a larger balance sheet and this has resulted in us seeking new ownership. Statkraft is the perfect match for us given their ambition to invest in and grow their solar portfolio.”

Statkraft CEO Christian Rynning-Tønnesen said: “This acquisition is in line with our strategy to ramp up as a wind and solar developer. Just like hydropower and solar power complement each other, Statkraft and Solarcentury are an excellent fit in terms of purpose and people. Joining forces will accelerate our growth and continue to drive the energy transition forward.”

The companies expect to complete the transaction before the end of 2020, subject to regulations.